My first piece of HF gear
Though it is pretty easy to set up the Buddistick without an antenna analyzer, having this tool makes it a breeze. I didn't realize Ron didn't have one or I would have loaned him my MFJ-259B.
I was licensed in 2002 and installed a dual-band radio in my car not long afterwards. I kept hearing chatter about "Boxboro", the name of the town adjacent to my home town (Acton) and, for the life of me, couldn't figure out what they were talking about! Boxboro is nice, but sleepy little community where nothing happens. Why was everybody talking about it?!
The answer was the Boxboro ARRL New England Division Convention held every other year in, well, Boxboro. After that was cleared up, I signed up. It was my first hamfest or convention.
It was there that I bought my first piece of HF equipment: an MFJ-259B analyzer. I had told Ron today it was my first piece of ham gear, but that wasn't correct. I had outfitted my car with an Icom IC-2800H. So, officially, it was my second major piece of ham equipment. It never even occurred to me that Ron wouldn't have one.
Long before I got this crazy DXpeditioning fever, I had been treating all my activities like something to be studied. I bought my analyzer even before I had bought a radio! I love to measure, study, and understand. That probably comes through in my posts. I've still got plenty to learn, but I believe that understanding leads to better decisions, and better decisions lead to more fun. It has for me.